Veteran Barnes signs with Lakers
Scott Van Pelt
Lakers F Matt Barnes explains how he ended up signing with Los Angeles and discusses his relationship with Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers announced Thursday they had signed the free-agent forward. Terms were not disclosed; Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Barnes agreed to a two-year contract worth $3.6 million.
"Its official I AM A LOS ANGLES LAKER. I wanna thank u for all ur patients and understanding. This is a dream come true!!! Good lookn Kobe," said a post on the seven-year veteran's Twitter feed.
The deal is significantly less than the one he reportedly agreed to with the Toronto Raptors on Monday.
Barnes announced Monday night via his Twitter feed that he was headed to Toronto. But that deal quickly unraveled when it became apparent that the limited sign-and-trade options available to Orlando -- Barnes' last team -- would not allow for the contract that Barnes was anticipating.
Under the impression that he would be receiving a two-year contract worth roughly $9 million, Barnes tweeted his thanks to Magic fans after announcing that he'd be "playing for the Toronto Raptors" next season.
The Magic are prevented by salary-cap rules from starting a sign-and-trade deal for Barnes at higher than $1.9 million, because Orlando doesn't have Barnes' full Bird rights after employing him for only one season. A sign-and-trade deal would also have to span at least three years, although only the first year is required to be guaranteed.
Since Toronto recently spent the bulk of its $5.8 million mid-level exception to sign Linas Kleiza, it did not have the available funds to sign Barnes outright to a deal that starts in the neighborhood of $4 million.
Barnes will be joining his eighth NBA team in returning to Los Angeles where he played for four years for UCLA. He has averaged 7.3 points, with a career high of 10.2 for Phoenix during the 2008-09 season. Barnes started 58 games last year for Orlando in his only season with the Magic after a hard recruiting push from center Dwight Howard, averaging 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The 30-year-old originally signed a two-year deal with Orlando but exercised his option to become a free agent after playing for $1.6 million in 2009-10.
Shannon Brown's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin that Barnes' signing does not change things in Brown's negotiations with the Lakers but with 11 players now under contract for the Lakers and the remaining two roster spots considered earmarked for the team's two second-round draft picks, it would appear that Brown will not be returning to L.A.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein was used in this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.